The world’s best luxury ocean cruise lines

Sailing the Kimberley, Western Australia with Ponant & National Geographic

Once deemed an ‘old-school’ way to travel, or perhaps the epitome of luxury transportation, cruising has evolved over the last ten years. With new cruise lines appearing and established ones revamping their on-board offering, everyone should experience at ocean cruise at least once. Here are the best to consider


Arguably, the French know best when it comes to luxury, so it comes as no surprise that luxury cruise brand Ponant sails under the French flag. Gold List Award-Winner Ponant offers voyages across 13 of their sleek and intimately sized cruise yachts. The fleet of French-flagged small luxury expedition ships is fitted with the latest environmental technologies, in a commitment to more responsible tourism that spans 35 years. The luxury brand has operated for 30 years, with a wide brochure of expeditions, from the heart of the Mediterranean to the icy Antarctic.  The brand’s purposeful voyages offer a unique mix of French-inspired hospitality, barefoot luxury and educative and sustainable exploration to places such as the Geographic North Pole, Australia’s Kimberley Coast or Antarctica’s Ross Sea.

The voyages on offer with Ponant are for those looking for a little more adventure than just watching the scenic landscape pass by their suite windows. Adventure is on the cards with Ponant, and the brand offers themed luxury cruises with experiences tailored to the interests of the participant. There are gastronomic cruises featuring cookery workshops hosted by renowned chefs, or a golf cruise in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. Ponant also offers top-of-the-range hotel-style service with unique onboard facilities and adventures upon the open waters.

©Studio Ponant - Olivier Coret
©Studio Ponant - Olivier Coret

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

All-inclusive luxury ocean cruise brand and Gold List Award winner, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, traverse over 500 immersive destinations globally. The luxury brand beckons guests ashore to venture into far-flung regions and favourite ports of call. Sailing the high seas for over 30 years, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ comprises six vessels – namely Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Splendor, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Grandeur – and carry no more than 746 guests. The itinerary aboard a Regent Seven Seas cruise includes local guides and onboard speakers, in addition to the multiple dining venues (from casual to fine dining) and onboard entertainment, such as musicals and casinos. The attentiveness aboard a Regent Seven Seas Cruises begins before guests step foot on a ship, with team members and travel agents alike, helping guests curate their itinerary for the next adventure on sea.

Regent Grandeur Compass Rose

Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruises offers an intimate and luxurious experience with just over 350 suites on their largest ships, featuring expansive accommodations and multiple dining options. With a fleet of 13 cruise ships, they provide access to over 900 destinations worldwide, ranging from iconic landmarks like London’s Tower Bridge to remote locales such as the Solomon Islands. Each guest suite provides ocean views and is accompanied by butler service, offering bespoke comfort for guests.

Onboard amenities include a fitness centre with modern equipment and classes like circuit training and Pilates in the aerobics room, catering to guests’ wellness needs. In line with the sustainability efforts of the Royal Caribbean Group, Silversea has introduced innovative technologies to enhance eco-friendly cruising. This includes the delivery of Silver Nova in July 2023 and the upcoming addition of Silver Ray in 2024, both contributing to sustainable practices within the industry.

Silver Nova - Open Deck Pool Inboard
Silver Nova - Open Deck Pool Inboard

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection melds the luxury lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton and the casual freedom of a yachting vacation, all while offering bespoke voyages in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Central America. With a fleet consisting of three vessels – Evrima, Ilma and Luminara – the interiors reflect the upscale residential feel of The Ritz-Carlton properties on land, combined with the contemporary design found in high-end yachts. Destination-based itineraries are curated to provide guests with authentic experiences from a local perspective, guided by the expertise of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

Onboard amenities include entertainment options such as live jazz performances and upscale boutiques, as well as semi-public spaces like the Living Room and Observation Lounge for guests to retreat and socialise. Wellness offerings are emphasised, with each yacht equipped with fitness centres and spas offering a range of services


Click here for more on the Luxury Travel Gold List Awards.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Photography: The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Cruise
Image shown: The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Photography: The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Shortlisted for The Luxury Ocean or River Cruise Brand (with ships under 300 guests) category in the 2023 Luxury Travel Gold List Awards.

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